It’s the fourth day of my favourite month of the year. I absolutely love September I always have. It’s my birthday month but I don’t think that’s the reason. Although I’m 100% grateful for every day I get to spend on this glorious planet, the joy and anticipation of actual birthdays has long since passed!
No, I think it’s more that it feels like even more of a good time for a fresh start than a new year itself. It’s a time for rejuvenation, recalibration and renewed resolve.
It might be a hangover from school but September has always felt like the start of a new year to me. It has so much more going for it than January – for a start, most people have had at least some semblance of a rest. August is generally a quiet time, even if you’re not away, other people are so things slow down. On top of that September still has relatively long days and it lacks the general ‘slow start’ that typifies January.
For me, it’s a time of optimism. We’re glad of good weather rather than being under pressure to have a ‘summer’. We’re usually fairly happy to be back into a routine after the chaos and unpredictability of summer holidays. And Christmas gives us something relatively imminent to look forward to.
On the flip-side, once you get into the swing of things, you realise there’s actually not that long left to achieve the goals you set out for the year.
For all of those reasons September is a time to reflect, reset and recalibrate. So here’s my three top tips to use this time to plan the rest of the year.
It can be tempting to try and capitalise on the feeling of motivation you have in getting back into the swing of things to just start to ‘do’. I see lots of clients try and do this. They literally pick up where they left off and that can be really dangerous as your pre-holiday to-do list can be driven by a very short-term mindset.
Instead, take a moment to review how far you’ve come this year. How are you tracking against your goals. How much do you still have left to do? Are your goals still relevant or do they need to be reset?
What successes have you had so far this year? What can you do to replicate those?
What isn’t working? What have you done so far this year that hasn’t led to the results you want?
July and August are scrappy and slow. There’s a lot of people off work and it can be difficult to nail down decisions. I often see clients moving into a slightly chaotic frame of mind over the summer. They lose track of the bigger picture, open themselves up to distractions and become unfocussed.
Check in with your planned activities over the next few weeks and months. Are they all aligned to what you want to achieve? Are they all things that make sense in terms of your wider goals. You may have been inspired by some outside stimulus over the summer, and that’s fab, but make sure that you’re using it in a way that gives your business the maximum benefit.
Everyone comes back after the summer feeling slightly adrift and disconnected. Take the time to connect with the people that matter most to your business. Your team, your customers, your suppliers. Share your renewed focus, remind them of your goals.
Think about how you can use the ‘back up and running’ vibe to connect with connections that have lapsed.
If you're in full September mode like me and would like some additional support to make the most of the coming months why not get in touch to see how I can help. I run 1/2 and full day planning sessions as well as my full coaching programmes to help you reset and recalibrate in a meaningful way, that works for you. Drop me a line on firstname.lastname@example.org